Re­port shows a≠ord­able hous­ing in Boul­der County vir­tu­ally “ex­tinct”

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Shay Cas­tle

There are no af­ford­able homes left in Boul­der County. Think­ing you’ll head east to the Car­bon Val­ley? There’s noth­ing left there, ei­ther.

That’s ac­cord­ing to a new af­ford­abil­ity study out of Long­mont, a joint ef­fort of Amy Aschen­bren­ner, CEO of the Long­mont As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, and Kyle Sny­der of Land Ti­tle Guar­an­tee Co.

In the last three years, the num­ber of sin­gle-fam­ily homes for sale un­der $250,000 has dropped 72 per­cent, and the num­ber of at­tached dwellings listed for less than $150,000 de­clined by 87 per­cent.

“Those are gi­gan­tic num­bers,” Sny­der said. “If you have an in­ven­tory of some­thing and then you take 87 per­cent of it away — that’s all of it.”

The re­port ex­tends past Boul­der County and into Weld and Larimer coun­ties, cov­er­ing Boul­der, Long­mont, Lafayette, Louisville, Su­pe­rior, Erie, Love­land, Berthoud, Fire­stone, Fred­er­ick, Mead and Da­cono.

Not one of the 12 towns has an av­er­age home price un­der $250,000, the study’s thresh­old for en­try-level af­ford­abil­ity. Da­cono is the clos­est, with a $265,363 av­er­age cost.

For at­tached dwellings, only Mead was un­der the $150,000 thresh­old, with a $128,633 av­er­age — data that came from three sales last year.

“Our con­clu­sion from the in­for­ma­tion pre­sented here is that there are no en­try level hous­ing op­tions,” reads the re­port. “The lines we drew in the sand as rea­son­ably priced in both cat­e­gories will soon be ob­so­lete.”

Na­tion­ally, the me­dian pur­chase price for first-time buy­ers was $170,000 in 2016, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors. (The fig­ure does not dis­tin­guish be­tween at­tached and de­tached dwellings.)

Low in­ven­tory has been a huge chal­lenge for Boul­der County and much of the Front Range, par­tic­u­larly at lower price points.

Only 99 sin­gle-fam­ily homes sold for less than $250,000 in Boul­der County last year, and just 22 at­tached units went for un­der $150,000.

Cur­rently, there is one house and two at­tached dwellings for sale un­der those prices, all in Boul­der.

“The $150,000-or-be­low condo or town­home is be­com­ing ex­tinct,” con­cludes the re­port.

It points out that the 1,000 homes un­der con­struc­tion in Long­mont might ease in­ven­tory con­cerns in that city, but not af­ford­abil­ity.

“(The) start­ing price of these new homes is at or above the 2016 Long­mont av­er­age home price of $386,043, so the avail­abil­ity of en­try-level homes in the area will not change any time soon.”

There is only one pos­si­ble fix, Sny­der ar­gues: re­form­ing the state’s con­struc­tion de­fect law that de­vel­op­ers say is pre­vent­ing them from build­ing con­do­mini­ums.

“The piece of the puz­zle that’s miss­ing is the con­dos; it’s clear,” he said. “It’s not a guess­ing game any longer.”

With­out the ad­di­tion of low­er­priced con­dos to the lo­cal mar­ket, Sny­der pre­dicts prices will go nowhere but up.

“The bid­ding wars, the short days on mar­ket — I don’t think it’s go­ing to slow down,” he said. “The de­mand is just too high.”

A new re­port says af­ford­able homes in Boul­der have be­come scarce.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.